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Be an advocate for BKW students!

Advocates give a voice to the issues, people and principles they care about. Your voice can make a difference!

School districts across New York are making devastating cuts to educational programs as they adjust to rising costs that are outpacing revenue.

For some districts, that has meant lost jobs and reductions in the number of class sections, sports, extracurricular offerings, afterschool clubs and bus runs, enrichment opportunities, early learning programs, advanced courses, student support services, and more. In fact, many schools now face the very real threat of educational insolvency, when they will no longer be able to provide the minimum requirements for students under New York State Education Department guidelines.

Continued reductions are not a viable long-term solution to fiscal challenges when today’s students and teachers must meet higher performance standards than those for any previous generation. This trend of reductions cannot continue without threatening the quality – and equality – of the education available to all students.

Community advocates must speak up now, on behalf of their students and their schools, or risk losing the high level of local public education that they’ve come to expect. Thank you for being an advocate who stands up for local public schools.

Concerned citizens often wonder what they can do to help their local students and schools.
The answer: Complete one or more of the items on the Advocacy Checklist below. Then encourage friends and family to do the same.

Empower yourself

• Choose an issue affecting your local schools and learn about that issue.
• Hone and deliver a “laser talk” to someone about the issue you chose.

Advocate with your legislators

• Send a letter or email to local legislators (click here for sample letters).
• Establish a relationship with legislators’ aides.
• Schedule face-to-face meetings with legislators, and ask them to take a leadership role on your selected issue.
• Invite legislators to special events at schools.
• Ask questions at legislators’ town hall meetings.

Advocate through the media

• Write a letter to a newspaper editor and send your published letter to local legislators.
       ◦ Email the Altamont Enterprise.
       ◦ Email the Times Union.
• Copy editorials or newspaper articles about your issue and send them to local legislators.

Advocate in the community

• Organize a letter-writing campaign.
• Speak to a local community group.
• Participate in a forum on your selected issue.
• Use social media to spread the word about what you’re advocating for:
   ◦ Update your Facebook or Twitter status with a key point from your “laser talk.”
   ◦ Share links to relevant news articles or to your school district website.
• Invite people to participate in events that are related to your selected issue.
• Follow legislators’ social media accounts and use it to connect with them (click here for a list of local legislators' contact information and social media accounts).